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Vitamin D doesn't prevent COVID, other respiratory infections, studies find

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Findings from two large clinical trials published yesterday in BMJ discount the notion that vitamin D supplements protect against COVID-19 or other respiratory-tract infections, although both had notable limitations.No differences in vitamin, placebo resultsIn a phase 3 randomized, controlled trial in the United Kingdom, a team led by University of London researchers enrolled 6,200 participants aged 16 years and older, tested the vitamin D levels of 3,100, and gave a 6-month supply of two different doses of oral supplements to 2,674 with suboptimal concentrations (less than 75 nanograms per deciliter [ng/dL]).

The control group consisted of 2,949 participants not offered vitamin D.Median participant age was 60.2 years, 67.0% were female, and 1.2% had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine at enrollment, a figure that rose to 89.1% by study end.

Supplement recipients knew they were taking an active drug, and nearly half of controls reported taking a vitamin D supplement at least once during the study.Participants, who reported taking no vitamin D supplements at enrollment, were given either 800 or 3,200 international units [IU]/day for 6 months.

Follow-up ran from Dec 17, 2020, to Jun 16, 2021, a period of high COVID-19 prevalence and low COVID-19 vaccine coverage in the United Kingdom.

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